Calling them the “Women of Steel,” LaToya presented plaques to 38 women in New Orleans government, honoring them for their commitment and leadership to our city. The award ceremony took place at the August 25th full Council meeting and was part of a larger presentation on the state of women within New Orleans.
“We need to take the time to recognize these great women within our City and to realize the challenges they face,” said LaToya.
Tulane professor Dr. Mirya Holman presented her report, “The Status of Women in New Orleans Since Katrina,” which showed several gender inequities that have continued or grown since Hurricane Katrina and the levee failures. Some of the findings included
- Almost 1 in 3 New Orleans women live below the poverty rate
- 56 percent of women-owned households with children have an income below the federal poverty rate
- Women-owned firms account for 3 percent of sales, receipts, and shipments from New Orleans based firms.
- Although overall the wage gap between men and women hasn’t changed, the gaps, compared to Caucasian men, are astounding: black women (50 percent), Hispanic women (63 percent) and white women (79 percent).
The Council unanimously passed a resolution authored by LaToya. The resolution notes that “women have made gains in the struggle for equality,” but much work remains and that the City is committed to eliminating discrimination against women and affording them equal academic, economic and business opportunities.
In addition to Dr. Holman, state Rep. Helena Moreno spoke about her efforts within the state legislature to eliminate discrimination and the her “It’s No Joke” campaign, which focuses on inequalities that Louisiana women face in their state. Julie Schwam Harris from the Legislative Agenda for Women also addressed the Council.